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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Welcomes Balanced Decision On Cheques

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed a decision by the Payments Council to cancel plans to close the cheque clearing system by 2018.

Concerns had been raised about the proposals by the millions of individuals and groups that still rely on cheques as a principal form of payment.

Locally, the SNP’s Dr Whiteford had received correspondence from various people who were unhappy at the proposals and believed the option to use cheques should be retained.

Alternative payment systems are particularly difficult for people and groups using accounts where more than one signatory is required.

Welcoming the decision, Eilidh said:

“The basic issue with the proposed closure of the cheque clearing system was what would replace it. The Payments Council had already acknowledged that there is an important place for a paper based payment system but there is really no obvious alternative.

“I suspect that the biggest reason for dropping the plan was a recognition of that if the current system ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it. Introducing a new alternative could have proved complex and costly when cheques are tried and tested.

“It may of course be the case that the system should be reviewed further down the line as people’s banking habits change and the technology underpinning the banking system progresses but the current plans are basically now ended, which will be a relief for those who were concerned by the proposals.”

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